By Anne Griffiths
I worked in Houston Bros office in mid 1950’s.
David and Alex Houston were partners and Mrs David Houston, Sheena Taylor, Anne Cowan were the office staff, augmented by Jim Waddell at that time.
Houston Bros was a haulage company who had the contract to collect the milk cans from the various farms in the district and taking them to the various creameries as well as collecting and delivering goods from Glasgow and district.
The premises was large and within it was an old double decker bus which was used as storage and extra office space. Maintenance was carried out by their own mechanical staff under Chas Wayman and then Bill Stewart. Sam Findlay was also part of that team.
Drivers included Henry Priest who drove the box van to Glasgow and went round the various companies and pick-up points within the city. At that time fewer companies had their own delivery vans. Broomielaw and Howard Street are two of the depots that come to mind.
Other drivers; Jimmy Graham, John Young, Wilf Shinkfield, John Pyper, Alex Lees, Alex Smith, Hugh Lorimer, Alex Capstick and George Linden. Young lads Jim Quinn and Jim Bell.
Transport was changing at that time and Alex Houston decided that long haul transport was the way forward and he left and set up the company Alex Houston & Sons taking products from the steelworks at Motherwell etc.
I’m not sure but I think that Houston Bros under Ronnie, son of David was taken over by Mackinnon of Kilmarnock.
Cumnock had quite a few haulage companies at that time,
- D Clark, Barrhill Road where Thomson’s garage is (one of the daughter’s married Cliff Handley, writer and performer)
- Bairds, Hamilton Place, where new road cuts through
- Anderson Bros, Black Bull Close, their business was mostly agricultural related.
From Ron Sharpe – Thanks Ron!
Houston on the left and Alex Houston on the right. Photo taken outside Boreland Farm where the original yard was located. Alan went on to work at Massey Ferguson for many years and continued to live in Cumnock. Alex started Alex Houston and Sons in the early fifties and traded out of Waterside Place firstly then moved up to the Rigg Road garage.